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Bullying

Dear Sam,

I have a friend in school who has moved from Greece, were both in year 10 and he doesn’t have many friends. He gets a lot of kids bullying him. They take the mick out of his apperance, accent and because of where he’s from. However he doesn’t help himself - he never tells the teacher and every time i do things never change and he still gets bullied by the same people. (praciticly half the school) He gets very angry and gets into fights a lot because of the bullying. Every time I’ve tried to help him with his anger he doesn’t take it in and still reacts. I know it’s hard to ignore bullies but it’s been happening since the end of year 9. Is there anything I can try to do for him? Most of the school is racist towards him. It is wrong that this is happening to him and I want to try and improve things for him.

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Supporting someone who’s being bullied is a very brave and considerate thing to do. It’s not always easy, as they may not act how they normally would and can be unpredictable. It may take a lot of patience and understanding because he’s going through something very difficult and needs help.

I spoke to Charlie from The Diana Award – an anti-bullying charity. They said there are a few helpful steps someone can take to support a friend.

First, it’s important to check in with them regularly. Just saying hello and asking how they are can make a big difference.

Doing things with them can also help to take their mind off their problems. Maybe meet up outside of school and walk home together, go out to the shops or see a film. Showing them that you want to spend time with them can really help to boost their mood and confidence.

You could also help your friend talk to someone who can try to stop the bullying.

Telling a teacher or member of staff can be one of the hardest steps to take and you say in your letter that you’ve tried talking to a teacher before. But if you both go together, it might make things clearer.

It’s also a good idea to try a different teacher if the person you spoke to before didn’t help.

Also, remember to look after yourself. Don’t try to take all of your friend’s problems on your shoulders. Helping someone else is a nice thing to do but if it affects you, then that can lead to problems.

Make sure you’re taking time for yourself and looking after your own feelings. I If you aren’t in a good place you won’t be able to help your friend either. Remember, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor if you need to.

I hope this has been useful. Thank you for writing to me.

Take care,

Sam

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